Damn! I guess Tata, the company behind the Nano, the car destined to be the cheapest of all, was right with their marketing research. The Nano, which will sell for 2 grand (which is about the down payment on a minivan) was expected to cause waves and sell big, but even Tata says this is unexpected. Tata had decided to take a page from Amazon et al’s playbook and allow people to “pre-order” one of the little guys, rather than have to stock up and store bunches of the cars.
In just five days Tata has already sold over 51,000 “booking forms” (Tata’s term for the pre-orders) to its dealers and individual customers, along with another 30,000 or so being taken from Tata business partners. Just to get an order form cost 300 Rupees, or about $6 in U.S. funds, with the final price for Nanos ranging from between 95,000 and 145,000 Rupees or $1,880 to $2,780.
So, the bottom line is, as always, the bottom line: Tata said they would build it for XX amount, and they also said people would beat a path to their door. There were skeptics, but they have now been proven wrong on the first two counts. Now it remains to be seen if this will move impoverished third-worlders off of scooters and into safer Nanos (Tata’s stated aim).